Dez Bryant was a no-show in the postgame locker room. Pretty much the same can be said about his performance on the field.
Bryant was targeted eight times and came away with two catches for 26 yards in the Cowboys’ 33-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Credit certainly goes to Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, who followed Bryant most of the day. Norman even threw up Bryant’s signature ‘X’ after knocking a couple passes away.
“[Norman] is a good player, Dez is a good player, and it seems that had a good battle throughout the game,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Dez caught a few on him, [Norman] stopped him on a few, but that’s what happens in this league. It’s competitive for everybody.”
Bryant has been held to less than 50 receiving yards the past three weeks, and has only one 100-yard receiving game in five games since returning from a fractured right foot that sidelined him the previous five games.
Along with the foot, Bryant has been dealing with knee and ankle injuries of late as well. But he felt he was getting closer and closer to 100 percent after last Sunday’s game in Miami.
Bryant had been held in check most of last week by Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes, but did have a touchdown catch from the slot when Grimes wasn’t on him. Bryant and Grimes traded jerseys after the game, as Bryant called him arguably the best corner in the league.
Bryant had no such luck against Norman and the Panthers secondary, and Norman wasn’t afraid to take some shots at Bryant afterward.
Norman reportedly shouted while headed to the locker room, “Hey, they need to get Dez’s 70 mil back.”
The Cowboys and Bryant reached a five-year, $70 million extension last offseason. Norman went on to talk about Bryant trading jerseys with Grimes.
“Brent Grimes was obviously the best corner in the league. He got his jersey. And he was four (catches) for 45 (yards) with a touchdown,” Norman said. “I think today he was two for 26 and no touchdowns. I don’t know how many he caught on me, but I can think of one and that was 6 yards.
“So I don’t know if he’s going to want my jersey now. Maybe I’ll give it to him.”